Academy pupils home safely

A group of Mackie Academy pupils who were left stranded in New York when Super-storm Sandy battered America, causing thousands of flights to be cancelled, arrived home safely on Monday.

The group of ten pupils had been competing in the Empire Mock Trial event over the weekend of October 27-28 and were expected to fly home last Monday (October 29) however their travel plans were put on hold with the arrival of Super-storm Sandy.

Some concerns had been raised over the Council’s decision to not cancel and re-book the flights, which may have got the group home earlier, however Aberdeenshire Council have explained that they explored all options in order to get the group home as quickly as possible.

A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We are very pleased that all the Mackie Academy pupils and teachers who travelled to New York are now home safely. All available travel options were explored by the council in order to get the group home as soon as possible and they arrived back this (Monday) morning, some 48 hours earlier than first hoped. The council worked closely with BA to ensure that the earliest possible flight was re-booked to allow the whole group to return home together.

“It was felt that to cancel and re-book the flights would not have offered a great advantage in terms of how quickly the pupils would get home and also would have meant some of the group having to travel alone.”